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Title:SAS ARTISTS RIFLES COMMEMORATIVE FILM [Allocated Title]
Film Number:MGH 6893
Summary: Compilation, in rough-cut form, commemorates history of the Special Air Service Artists Rifles Regiment from its origins in 1860 up to its contemporary role gathering intelligence in Germany, passing via its association with the Royal Academy, where a wreath is laid to mark the centenary of this special British Army Regiment.
Description: Reel 1: Band of Parachute Regiment leads men of the SAS Artists Rifles, headed by Colonel Jim Johnson and Captain Roy Fisher, along Euston Road (London) towards Royal Academy in Burlington House, Piccadilly. (All wear pistols, and nearly all wear medals from Second World War service with the Special Air Service.) Honorary Colonel of the SAS, Ian Le Praik, passes centenary wreath marked 100 to Colonel Johnson, who places it at foot of Artists Memorial commemorating members killed in action in two world wars. Sir Winston Churchill arrives for the centenenary event, followed by guest of honour R A Butler, who inspects SAS drawn up in the courtyard of the Royal Academy (speaking to tall Jack Donaldson and passing moustachioed John Davies). [Spacing at 3 mins 25 secs marked "They all love Jack" - regimental song] Plaque on house in Westminster commemorates studio of Henry Wyndham Phillips where Artists Rifles was formed in 1860. Building in Duke's Road, St Pancras marked 20th Middlesex Artist RV [Rifle Volunteers]. Various sketches and elderly SAS veterans modelling 19th century costumes and pith helmets or slouch hat (City Imperial Volunteers during Boer War) recall the development of the Artist Rifles up to the First World War when Colonel May commanded. [Spacing at 7 mins 52 secs "First 52 names" - ie commissioned in field]. WWI and post-WWI medals and prizes for marksmanship (Daily Telegraph Cup at Bisley, 1929) and bayonet fighting. [Spacing at 8 mins 32 secs] WWII evocation covers Book of Remembrance, Colonel David Stirling, Lt-Colonel Franks (first commander of 21 SAS) and varied uniforms worn by SAS, from paratrooper, to officer in No 1 Dress (Captain de la Billière) a veteran Artist dressed in bandsman's uniform. [Spacing at 10 mins 40 secs - 10 May 1960] Colonel Johnson, followed by Captain de la Billière, and RSM inspect Regiment lined up in Duke's Road before entering St Pancras Church; Battle Honours' plaque 1860-1960 marked 21st SAS Regiment - Artists - TA. (13 mins 17 secs)
Reel 2: Colour original of parts of 1A: Band of Parachute Regiment leads men of the SAS Artists Rifles, headed by Colonel Jim Johnson and Captain Roy Fisher, along Euston Road (London) towards Royal Academy in Burlington House, Piccadilly. (All wear pistols, and nearly all wear medals from Second World War service with the Special Air Service.) Plaque on house in Westminster commemorates studio of Henry Wyndham Phillips where Artists Rifles was formed in 1860. (ca 3 mins)
Reel 3: Sequence of recruitment scenes at Duke's Road, where officer in No 1 dress signs up a young volunteer (smoking cigarette), who then undergoes medical exam and swears oath of allegiance before his training starts with map reading exercise, shooting practice at Bisley with Sterling sub-machine gun and 9mm Browning pistol, and fieldcraft exercise on Brecon Beacons. Bar scenes with veterans and purchase of regimental tie conclude the first stage of training. [4 mins 12 secs] Training at Joint Services Amphibious Warfare Centre (located near Poole, Dorset) continues with instruction in Klepper canoes and Gemini rubber boat fitted with Seagull outboard motor, ending with insertion skills training with frogmen. [7 mins 48 secs] Training concludes at RAF Abingdon No 1 Parachute School, where after initiation inside Ground Training Hangar, men jump from barrage balloon gondola before emplaning in Beverley and jumping with full kit. (RSM Bob Bennett DCM wears "wings" on his chest, indicating WWII veteran.) (13 mins 18 secs)
Reel 4: 21 SAS exercise in Brecon Beacons starts with briefing, scenes of bivouacing, grenade throwing practice, firing Energa grenade from rifle and cross-country trekking testing endurance, field firing and navigation skills before reaching summit of Pen y Fan, marked by concrete trig point. (Colonel Sutherland leaning on stick.) [Spacing at 7 mins 40 secs] Men outside Air Terminal Building emplane in Beverley of RAF Transport Command for flight to Germany for exercise. Men assemble at RAF Sundern, outside former German military barracks marked 21 SAS Control, then practise intelligence gathering, working in four-man patrols, signalling back to Ops Intelligence of 1 BR Corps (British Army of the Rhine) via Wireless Set No 128 after fixing antenna on top of tree. (14 mins 56 secs)
Reel 5: [Kodak date mark 1972] At Duke of York Barracks, Chelsea, a four man team of SAS soldiers, plus driver, load a landrover and trailer with a MEXE shelter, filmed at high speed in order to time the trial. [MEXE modular shelters or hides were used by British Army of the Rhine during the Cold War era for monitoring NBC (nuclear, biological and chemical) detection. After loading, team start digging and unload the landrover and trailer beside a railway line on 2 July ("Exercise Badger's Set") (ca 9 mins)
Reel 6: [Kodak date mark 1972] Same SAS team, after completing excavation of a T-shaped hole in the ground, install framework of single-hatched version of shelter [later version was hinged]. Once covered over with soil and turf, soldier emerges from hide wearing a NBC No 1 protective suit and crawls forward. (ca 9 mins)
Reel 7: [Kodak date mark 1960] De Havilland DH.82ATiger Moth II (G-AKGF) takes off; aerial shots from another Moth record G-AKGF flying in sunset-coloured sky. Ground shots of servicemen in civilian dress (blazers) outside a club house, before they drive off in Jaguar. [SAS trained to jump from wings of Tiger Moths. Possibly RAF Netheravon] (ca 1 min)